They Murdered My Son

If you have children you know how horrifying it must have been. You know the joy of looking into your baby boy’s eyes, the waves of emotion crashing over you again and again when you hold your children. But what did my innocent, respectful, selfless boy do?

Honestly, what had he done? Why were they doing this to him? I watched them beat him. Spit on him. Taunt him. Trying to get him to fight back. Mock him. Criticize him. Oh, how they said such awful things about him.

They picked at him.

Made fun of him.

Took his clothes from him.

There was my boy. Being attacked by these horrible men. Did these men not have children? Did these officers not have young boys or sons?

How could they do this in front of his mother. I wept uncontrollably as I helplessly watched them take away my son’s life. Stabbed him. Punched him. Kicked him. Pushed him. Slapped him.

Of all the physical stress and torture I witnessed, of all the beating he took, for me, his mother, the worst was the mocking. The worst was their words.

Making fun of him.

Calling him a liar.

Saying he was a joke.

A fraud.

A disgrace.

They said he was nothing and never would be anything. They picked apart things he’d said. Why was he so important to them? How could beating him bring them so much pleasure? Why was my boy the center of their hatred?

But I was his mother.

I knew before the very first second I held him in my arms in our make shift hotel room with no running water and no electricity, that this would be his future. This would be his life. But it didn’t make it easy being his mom watching this unfold.

It never does.

I thought about the times when he was younger, knowing what was going to happen to my boy. I didn’t know when, but I knew this was coming. I knew they would one day treat him like this.

And here he was.

A grown man being treated like he wasn’t a human.

He was so young. He had so much life left. People loved him! Why, oh why, was I sitting here with my family, my friends, and people that knew him and our family so deeply and knew who he was, watching him die. I wanted to turn away and leave. But I couldn’t. I wouldn’t. So I stayed.

Watching my first-born son be murdered.

He had never done anything to warrant such cruelty and malice. He helped people. He cared for the people who couldn’t care for themselves. Sure, he spent time with people that weren’t the most outstanding citizens and people the government questioned, but he treated them just as he would anyone else.

He had such a big heart.

He was always going to the “bad parts of town” to help people. Some just to sit and talk to.

My son was so kind.

He was sweet.

Gentle.

Loving.

Caring.

Why was this happening to him? What had he done to them?

Blood ran down my boys’ face. Who am I kidding…blood ran down my boy’s entire body. He gasped for breath, continuing to endure the sarcasm, racism, and insults hurled at him.

And he just received it.

He did nothing.

I wanted my boy to come home. I wanted to take him home and care for him. To clean his wounds. To give him a cold rag, some water, and be his nurse. But I couldn’t. I had to sit there, watching, emotionless but yet filled with anger, hurt, sadness, and confusion. I wanted him to stand up for himself.

Confusion overcame me. Confusion because my son didn’t deserve this. They came and arrested him without cause. Without a warrant. Without anything. It was even one of his best friends that told the crooked officers where they were. There he was, with his dear friends, enjoying the night air when their peaceful gathering was interrupted.

They took him.

Such confusion because here was my son, seconds away from dying, and using his last moments of breath to forgive his abusers and forgive the small band of men that were murdering him. He used some of his last words ever spoken to tell the people shouting jokes and spit that he forgave them.

Why them?

Why now?

They don’t deserve it.

And in that moment, amidst the anger and bitterness and sadness, hope entered into my soul. Why? Because in that moment, I realized that this was it. This was why I was allowed to be his mother. This was why he came to me.

This was why he came to us.

He didn’t stand up for himself because in his very death he was standing up for me.

He didn’t stand up for himself because he was standing up for you.

For the world.

He came to receive and love on these kinds of men. And in that moment I had hope because it was true. All of it was true. I remembered in that moment that my boy came to forgive these kinds of men with these kinds of behaviors.

He came to befriend these kinds of people.

Then I realized that I could talk with and comfort other mothers and other friends who’d experience pain or killings because I did too.

And not only because it was my boy.

But because this was my God.

My God endured that for me.

For me.

He took all the blood, spit, jokes, kicks, stabs, whips, fists, rods so that one day, after all was said and done, he would make Himself known as a Majestic King and put death in its place and lock up suffering and obliterate it for good. I knew I had to endure it that day. But I knew there would soon come a day where I wouldn’t anymore. I’d get to see my boy again.

And he’s going to look so radiant.

Clean. No blood. No bruises.

Oh I can’t wait for my boy to come back.

Death won’t have a chance.

Suffering will go away.

Thank you, precious Son.

Thank you for all you have suffered to make your children whole again.

Some day will soon become Today.

And so while I suffer from missing you and the horror I witnessed, I hope and cannot wait for what you’re going to do when you come back.

You’re gonna make it all right, I know you will.

And when you do, I’ll look back and know that you brought me through it all.

For this.

New Life.

Hope.

Joy.

It was the hardest thing I ever had to do, watch my boy die. But remember, I watched my Son be killed so that when and if you are me one day, watching the same thing happen to those you love and hold dear, the death of your loved ones isn’t the final verdict.

Because three days after my boy was killed, he opened up his eyes and was alive again.

And because my Son walked out of his coffin alive and healed, yours can too.

– Mary, mother of Jesus Christ, the Savior


In the midst of our struggles as a country and as individuals, may we be directed to the sacrifice of Christ, knowing that our Glorious Savior is not far from our suffering and knows suffering full-well. Let this give us hope, that because he knows suffering and because He can empathize with all that we continue to see and experience as trials come and horrors increase, He will one day make all sad things become untrue. We have a God that understands this. We have a God that has been through it. But because he has, tears will be wiped away and joy will be overflowing when the King returns.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always caring in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-12

“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16

 

 

Jonathan C. Edwards (@NotThePuritan)

Jonathan (M.Div, Th.M) is the Director of Curriculum for Docent Research Group. He is the author of "Left: The Struggle to Make Sense of Life When a Parent Leaves," available now!

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